Alchemilla mollis (Lady s mantle)
Species: A. mollis
Binomial name: Alchemilla mollis
Synonym: Alchemilla grandiflora hort.
Common name: Lady's mantle, Garden lady's mantle,
Alchemilla mollis is a herbaceous perennial plant native to southern Europe and grown throughout the world as an ornamental garden plant. It grows 30 to 45 cm tall, with palmately lobed basal leaves that are palmately veined, with a scalloped and serrated margin. The tiny, yellow or greenish flowers are held in dense clusters above the foliage.
The plant is often grown as a ground cover and is especially valued for the leaves in wet weather, as the water beads and sparkles on the leaves. This is due to the remarkable dewetting properties of the leaves, whereby the contact force between the water and the leaf is so disfavoured that a thin layer of air penetrates the solid-liquid interface. These beads of water were considered by alchemists to be the purest form of water. They utilised this water in their quest to turn base metal into gold. Hence the name Alchemilla.
The plant self-seeds freely and can become invasive.
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